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The Lafayette choirs will present their annual spring concerts 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday at the Williams Center for the Arts. Sponsored by the music department, the concerts are free and open to the public.

Nina Gilbert, director of choral activities, will direct the Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers. The program includes several selections for the choirs’ women, several for the men, and two sing-alongs for the audience.

“Our program shows some surprising connections between unrelated works, and some clear contrasts between works that are supposed to be similar,” says Gilbert. “We go from the spiritual ‘Deep River’ to ‘Bogoroditse Devo,’ the Slavonic Ave Maria, for example, and the two works have a lot in common. We also go from the spiritual ‘I Want to Be Ready’ to a Renaissance double chorus about the wise maidens getting ready for the bridegroom.”

The program also features three works unique to the Lafayette choirs.

“The women of the Concert Choir sing a gospel arrangement of ‘Rock-a-mah soul’ that Joseph Jennings wrote for Chanticleer, a men’s chorus,” notes Gilbert. “We are the only other choir in the world with permission to sing that arrangement. The Madrigal Singers are singing a new vocal jazz setting of Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca. And the Concert Choir is featuring senior tenor Steve Presciutti in “Close to You,” an a cappella arrangement that has not been performed since 1943 when it was written for (Frank) Sinatra.”

Sixteen members of the Concert Choir performed in Washington, D.C. over fall break. They sang at the Masonic headquarters and at St. John Evangelical Luther Church (Riverdale, Md.), which is led by interim pastor Rev. M.Gregory Shannon ’62.

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